Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Swim on Inauguration Day

So I started my morning with a nice 1 mile swim. I did not swim it straight today, but broke it up as a 100 m warm up, a 300 drill (50 swim, 50 kick, 100 pull, 100 swim), a 400 freestyle swim, a 400 that I swam continuously but did a 100 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke (and hit the wall with my arms on 2 of the ends of a lap... ouch! They need flags up... I think I was counting from the wrong beam on those laps...), and another 100 free. Then I did the 300 drill again, and then a 100 cool down.

Then I wandered home and as my mind wandered, I wondered if Barack Obama's parents or grandparents at any point in time when he was a child ever imagined that he would be sworn in as our nation's 44th president and the 1st African-American president at that. Was there ever a glint of something that they knew (other than that parental gushing that happens) that he would be something amazing? I catch myself wondering from time to time what my girls will "be" when they're older. Doctor? Artist? President? Author? Gypsy Queen? Amanda and Megan have so much promise and can be so much, but what lies in store? I decided that I will just have to wait and see really...

And in another sense I was waiting to see this morning too. I wanted to wait to see what the Inauguration would be like, and I was not disappointed. There was such excitement, like none I've ever known, about a President for what seems like the 1st time. I've heard that there was excitement about President Regan's first inauguration because he too was seen as a man for change. But I can't quite imagine that it was like this. I remember my parents being excited about Regan, but I don't remember much else. I was only 6 the 1st time Regan was elected after all. I have to say that the crowd brought tears to my eyes. In a country where most people "opt out" of voting, to have 1 million of us clamoring to see a President take his oath is something somewhat miraculous. Between the people flooding DC, and the people watching on TV, I wonder if we've finally eclipsed the viewers for "American Idol" with a political event. That in itself is historic. But, even more so is the idea that just yesterday was Dr. King's birthday - the man who was brave enough to dare to share his dream that all people could truly be treated equally (just as our constitution promises) - and then today the 1st African-American President took office. But I hope that President Obama will not be seen as a President just for African-Americans, but that he will be seen as a President for all Americans. His job is not one I envy at the moment. All eyes are on him to turn our country around and to continue to keep us safe, and then he has the added pressure of being the 1st of something. When you're the 1st at something, you have to do an extremely good job at it so that the naysayers have no fuel to say "you see, told you so." That's why I couldn't vote for Palin (other than the political differences she and I have), I couldn't trust her to do a good job as the 1st female Vice President. When you can't remember what newspapers you read one day, and another day come off as intelligent and then follow it up with more air headedness, I don't want you anywhere near being the 1st female Vice President. Anyway. Back to President Obama. I thought his speech was inspiring and I felt like he had a strong sense of where he wants to lead our country at a time when we need someone to lower the anchor so we, as a nation, are not adrift. For once, I felt as though it wasn't just another President taking office that was going to have his own political agenda and heck with what was the best for the country. It felt like the notion of the "old time" politicians who looked out for their constituents, not the special interests. Of course, he has the next 4 years to either prove me right or prove me wrong.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

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